Near the Airport of Kabul, 16 August 2021 by Jane Blanchard

Near the Airport of Kabul, 16 August 2021

“. . . the dreadful martyrdom must run its course . . .”
—W. H. Auden, Musée des Beaux Arts

And so it goes, another fall—
Of those who thought themselves too small
To fight against the mighty clan
Now moving through Afghanistan,
Where fear has long kept hope in thrall.

The images—the plunge, the sprawl—
At least are able to appall
Some there, elsewhere without a plan,
. . . . . . .And so it goes.

If only such a shock could stall
The suffering to come to all
Opponents of the Taliban
Let loose by one American
Who failed to follow protocol,
. . . . . . .And so it goes.

by Jane Blanchard

Editor’s Note: The lyricality of this rondeau chillingly belies the utter disaster of its subject matter.